Tag Archives: hormones

Show Notes – Sean Croxton + The Dark Side of Fat Loss

The Dark Side of Fat Loss – Sean Croxton

In this weeks episode we talked with Sean Croxton, author of The Dark Side of Fat Loss. We talked about the complete code of conduct for healthy living and nutrition so that you can be the healthiest, fittest version of yourself, free of excess fat, depression, anxiety, sweet cravings, sleep issues, low libido and the signs and symptoms of common degenerative diseases!

Listen to internet radio with Eating Disorder Pro on Blog Talk Radio

In this episode we covered:

1:50 – About Sean Croxton.
3:15 – Tell us your story and how Underground Wellness got started?
6:36 – Do you ever find that going against the flow is difficult? Do you worry about going against the flow?
7:38 – One of the main tenets of The Dark Side of Fat Loss is that we get healthy to lose fat, not lose fat to get healthy. What do you mean by this?
9:50 – Tell us the difference between A1 and A2 casein. What is casein?
12:15 – What are healthy sources of dietary fat? What are unhealthy sources of dietary fat?
20:13 – Give us a couple of examples of factors that might be standing between an individual and their fat loss.
25:45 – Caller Question – Is it unhealthy to steam my milk for my coffee every morning?
30:00 – Caller Question – A lot of the products I see at the grocery store contain canola oil. Is canola oil a healthy fat?
32:15 – They call you the Poop King. What’s the fascination with poop?
36:05 – What should we do when our poop doesn’t look the way it’s supposed to?
37:15 – What’s an example of a good digestive enzyme supplement? What’s an example of a good probiotic supplement?
38:20 – What does sleep have to do with fat loss?
44:00 – What is Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN)? How does it help people change their health around?
45:50 – What do you do for someone with low estrogen levels?
50:00 – What’s in store for 2013?

Links We Discussed

The Dark Side of Fat Loss
The Dark Side of Fat Loss Book Review
The Great Con-ola

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Food Pollution: Eating Disorders and Obesity

photo used under a creative commons license

 In this week’s episode we discussed the effects of Food Pollution on Eating Disorders and Obesity.

Listen to internet radio with Eating Disorder Pro on Blog Talk Radio

In this episode we covered:

5:25 – The Systems Involved in Regulation of Appetite, Fat Storage, Weight Loss, Weight Gain, and Food Addiction
6:10 – What is Leptin?
6:24 – White Adipose Tissue (WAT) and Triglycerides
9:07 – The Effects of Food Pollution on the Weight Management System
10:57 – The Starvation Hormone – Leptin
11:40 – What drives Leptin Levels?
12:56 – Leptin Resistance
13:50 – Caller Question – How can I find out what my leptin levels are?
17:00 – Leptin Resistance
19:00 – The Effects of Food Additives and GMOs on Leptin
20:28 – Leptin and Anorexia
21:22 – The Effects of Anorexia and Obesity on the Endocrine System
22:46 – Cortisol
24:02 – Leptin and Anorexia
25:14 – Ghrelin: The Hunger Hormone
27:45 – Anorexia and Ghrelin – The Effects of High Ghrelin Levels on Treatment
30:44 – Bulimia and Ghrelin
32:10 – Obesity and Ghrelin
32:40 – Neuropeptide YY (PYY)
34:10 –  Obesity and PYY
35:37 – PYY and Mood
35:55 – Regulating PYY through Diet and Exercise
38:55 – How to Regulate Leptin Levels

Links We Discussed
Leptin
Ghrelin
Peptide YY

Show Summary

The Weight Management System

In order to understand the role that food additives, genetically engineered organisms (GE’s), sweeteners, and neurotoxins play in the current epidemic of obesity and ED’s we must first understand the systems involved in appetite/hunger, fat storage, weight loss/gain and food addictions. There are three primary hormones involved in appetite/hunger regulation: Leptin, Ghrelin, Peptide YY.

Leptin

Leptin, which is a peptide hormone, was discovered by scientists in 1994. It is found in gastric tissue and placenta but is most abundant in white adipose tissue (WAT) otherwise known as body fat. WAT is composed mainly of adipocytes (fat cells) that store energy in the form of triglycerides during times of nutritional abundance. During times of nutritional deprivation, fat cells release the triglycerides (fat) into the blood stream to provide energy for the body. If there is too much fat in the form of triglycerides, it is stored in different places, such as the hips or belly, in case it is needed later. It also accumulates in the arteries, causing coronary artery disease.

In general, the amount of WAT, or body fat, is determined by the balance between energy intake and energy output. While it is partly influenced by genetic factors, it is driven primarily by environmental factors, such as the amount and/or type of food eaten.

It is damaged by food additives that are neurotoxic or addictive and by environmental carcinogens and obesegens.
Under normal conditions, this system is carefully regulated so that WAT mass remains constant and close to a well defined ‘set point’ for each individual. The set point, which is designed to keep the body at a healthy weight, is part of a feedback loop that maintain homeostasis.

Disruptions of this steady state that are caused by damage to the systems involved, can lead to chronic decreases or increases in the quantity of WAT mass. Decreased amounts of WAT are associated with periods of dieting, malnutrition, as in the case of ED’s, Anorexia. During these periods, the healthy body sends a message to the brain to increase food intake and decrease energy output. Increased amounts of WAT are present with obesity. Under these conditions, leptin sends a message to the brain to inhibit food intake and increase energy expenditure. In this sense, leptin acts as a long-term regulator of optimal body weight. It has been dubbed the “starvation hormone” because it’s primary function is to keep us from eating too little or exerting too much, and thus avoid starving to death.

Leptin levels are driven by the amount of adipose tissue one has under normal conditions. While the system works well to keep weight at optimal levels, it becomes less and less effective the more (or in the case of Anorexia, the less) adipose tissue there is. In the case of excess weight, the farther one is from the optimum, or set point, the stronger the signal to decrease food intake and increase energy output.

However, there appears to be a threshold for leptin levels, such that when they get too high or remain too high for too long, the brain no longer registers or recognizes them. This is called Leptin resistance, and it’s very much like insulin resistance. When this happens, the brain no longer senses changes in leptin levels. Instead, it perceives, that the body is in a state of starvation.

As a result, the individual experiences the need to increase food intake and decrease energy expenditure, regardless of how much excess fat they actually have on board. This causes more weight gain, and more adipose tissue, which results in more Leptin resistance, which in turn results in more weight gain. This is an example of a classic vicious cycle.

In the case of Anorexia, leptin levels are too low, due to the lack of WAT or fat cells, so that the individual is leptin deficient. The message from the brain is the same as it was for the obese patient that was leptin resistant, eat more, exert less, but for a different reason. In this case, the individual actually is starving to death. Unfortunately, in the case of the Anorexic individual, whose fear of gaining weight is overwhelming, the response to feeling hungry is to eat even less, causing more weight loss, which triggers more hunger which leads to more fear, and we have another vicious cycle.

Fasting, food intake, exercising, awakening, and psychosocial stressors cause the body to release cortisol. Cortisol is released in a highly irregular manner with peak secretion in the early morning, which then tapers out in the late afternoon and evening. Energy regulation and mobilization are two critical functions of cortisol. Cortisol regulates energy by selecting the right type and amount of substrate (carbohydrate, fat or protein) that is needed by the body to meet the physiological demands that is placed upon it. Cortisol mobilizes energy by tapping into the body’s fat stores (in the form of triglycerides) and moving it from one location to another, or delivering it to hungry tissues such as working muscle. Under stressful conditions, cortisol can provide the body with protein for energy production through gluconeogenesis, the process of converting amino acids into useable carbohydrate (glucose) in the liver.

Additionally, it can move fat from storage depots and relocate it to fat cell deposits deep in the abdomen. Cortisol also aids adipocytes (baby fat cells) to grow up into mature fat cells. Finally, cortisol may act as an anti-inflammatory agent, suppressing the immune system during times of physical and psychological stress. The implications are that when you are stressed, you store more belly fat and are more susceptible to disease because your immune system is on vacation.

Leptin levels can also be high for individuals with anorexia.  However, in this case it is because triglyceride levels are too high due to liver damage and/or anorexia-induced hormone disruptions.

Ghrelin

Ghrelin, discovered in 1999 by scientists, is known as “the hunger hormone”. Produced in the stomach and pancreas, Ghrelin stimulates the appetite for the purpose of increasing the intake of food and promoting the storage of fat. When Ghrelin levels are high, we feel hungry. After we eat, Ghrelin levels fall and we feel satisfied.

Leptin and Ghrelin have a “teeter-totter” relationship. When leptin levels rise, ghrelin levels fall. Likewise, when ghrelin levels rise, leptin levels fall.

Whereas leptin acts as a long-term regulator of body weight, Ghrelin, on the other hand, is a fast-acting hormone that operates as a meal-initiation signal for short-term regulation of energy balance. There are distinct abnormalities in the production of Ghrelin among obese and eating disordered individuals. Part of the problem may be high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which is often seen with very low leptin levels. of Chronic stimulation is seen in clinical scenarios with chronic high cortisol levels and very low leptin levels. The more improper signaling that occurs, the more the incretin hormones agouti and ghrelin become disconnected from their master controller, leptin. The gasoline for this reaction is a chronic elevated cortisol. The longer it occurs, the more these abnormal signals are wired for in the person’s brain. This is what makes their treatment so difficult.

Those with anorexia tend to have high levels of ghrelin, which causes them to feel hungry. The sense of hunger is an extremely frightening feeling for most individuals suffering from Anorexia. So much so that they believe that they will never be able to relate normally to food, fearing that once they start eating they will never be able to stop. However, Grehlin levels normalize with weight restoration in individuals that refeed on a clean diet. For those that refeed using traditional refeeding protocols, Grehlin levels are likely to worsen as are Leptin levels. The result is increases hunger, increased fear and more restricting.

Among those with bulimia, Ghrelin does not respond as strongly when food is eaten, which could contribute to binge eating as the individual suffering from Bulimia does not “get full” even if they have overeaten. In the past, the assumption has been that there may be a predisposition in the Bulimic individual that “causes” this reactio and drives this disorder. However, it is possible that the toxins found in most of the foods in the U.S. may be changing brain chemistry in such a way that drives Bulimia.

Obese individuals tend to have low levels of Ghrelin, probably because they are Leptin Resistant, since Leptin and Ghrelin are inversely related. Research also shows that Ghrelin levels are higher after an individual loses weight, causing an increase in appetite, which may make it even more difficult to maintain weight loss for obese individuals.

Peptide YY (PYY)

PYY is a hormone that suppresses appetite. It was discovered to play a role in digestion in 1985. PYY regulates food intake, and is believed to improve leptin sensitivity. The amount of PYY released by our bodies is influenced by the number of calories we ingest; the more calories we ingest, the more PYY is released.

PYY levels are highest in individuals battling anorexia, followed by those individuals that are lean,which explains why both groups have less hunger and also may have more difficulty eating. PYY levels are lowest among obese and morbidly obese individuals. Individuals with bulimia also experience low levels of PYY, which helps to explain why all three groups feel more hunger. Research shows that the obese individual can decrease their PYY levels by 30% by reducing their body weight by 5.4%. PYY levels are not believed to be effected by weight restoration during recovery from anorexia. It is also important to note that high levels of PYY in anorexic individuals is associated with decreased bone mineral density (BMD).

Our mood also effects our PYY levels. Recent studies show that PYY levels are higher in those suffering from major depression. This explains why many people with major depression have a decreased appetite and experience weight loss.

PYY levels can be regulated through both diet and exercise. Diets high in quality protein tend to raise PYY levels highest, followed by diets high in healthy fats. High carbohydrate diets tend to raise PYY levels the least. Aerobic exercise has also been proven to raise PYY levels, whereas strength-training has no effect on PYY levels (although strength-training does lower ghrelin levels).

In conclusion, PYY regulates our appetite. The higher our PYY levels are, the more satiated we will feel. You can ensure your PYY levels are highest by eating a high protein diet and including aerobic exercise in our workout routine.

1. Eat a balanced diet. Be sure to eat foods that are high in protein, and remember to consume organic fruits vegetables. Even though you are resistant to leptin, you should still consume the proper nutrients.

2. Eat six time a day, on a schedule. If you have leptin resistance, you do not realize when you have eaten enough. To overcome this problem, create a set schedule of when to eat. It is best to have three meals each day. You should eat in the morning, the afternoon and the evening.

3. Create a food diary. In order to organize your schedule, create a food diary of the three meals and three snacks each day and the foods you will have during those meals. This method will help you to make sure that you are consuming a variety of foods. Also, by organizing your meals, you can make sure that you are not consuming an excess of food at a given meal.

4. Do not eat late at night. After you have your evening meal, do not eat anything else. If you eat before bedtime, you will feel uncomfortable, and any excess fat will have a less likely chance of being burned.

5. Exercise regularly. Exercise helps you to improve your metabolism, as well as increase your energy. To keep track of your exercise routine, write down the time of day that you will exercise on your schedule.

6. Understand the role of protein tyrosine phosphates 1B, or PTP 1B, in leptin resistance. When PTP 1B is expressed to a high extent, it blocks the signaling of leptin. A possible way to overcome leptin resistance is to inhibit the PTP 1B. Talk to your doctor about the progress of this research.

7. Learn what is happening in your body. If you are leptin resistant, your own body is essentially sabotaging your efforts at weight control. In the first place, your brain is not receiving signals to cease eating when fat stores accumulate, and you’ll find yourself hungry despite knowing rationally that you should be full. To balance your body’s chemistry, you’ll need to regulate yourself mentally since your body can’t do it for you. This will take consistent determination and will power.


8. Exercise even when your body tells you to quit. When the body becomes leptin resistant, it becomes accustomed to high levels of the chemical in the blood. A little weight loss can trigger a decrease in leptin, making your appetite larger and affecting your metabolism negatively. Even though the body has plenty of fat stores to burn, the muscles cease to do so in response to decreasing leptin. You may not see results quickly because of this, and you may find yourself particularly exhausted by exercise. Do it anyway, because you can’t correct leptin resistance without reaching a healthy weight.

9. Take irvingia gabonensis supplements. Irvingia gabonensis is a plant species whose fruit has been shown in medical studies to correct leptin resistance. In fact, one study showed that individuals taking 150 mg of the supplement twice a day showed marked improvements in body composition after just 10 weeks. This natural supplement is not thought to have any side effects, although longitudinal studies are ongoing.

10. Work with a trainer or accountability partner. The hardest part of overcoming leptin resistance is that you go through the rigors of exercise and the self-discipline of a healthy diet without any encouragement from your body. You’ll probably feel tired and hungry on a frustratingly frequent basis. Until you have reached and maintained a healthy weight, though, your body will never regain the ability to function properly with regard to body composition. Having a consistent ally in your pursuit will help you stay strong in the lowest points when your brain is receiving signals to eat more and exercise less in response to decreasing leptin in the blood. The fight will be hard, but overcoming these signals will help you live a longer, more fulfilling life.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Why Rapid Weight Gain Decreases Treatment Success Rates

At many inpatient eating disorder treatment centers patients with anorexia nervosa are required to restore their weight quickly; I’ve had patients that were forced to gain 20 pounds in 21 days! Not coincidentally, 21 days was the amount of time that managed care would cover.  There are numerous reasons as to why gaining weight this quickly actually sets the patient up for relapse. Let’s look at what gaining weight at a rapid rate does to leptin levels.

In the malnourished, underweight anorexic, leptin levels are typically very low, due to low fat reserves. Usually, leptin levels reach normal levels during weight restoration. However, when weight is gained too quickly, leptin levels rise too quickly and may exceed the normal range. Of course this has the opposite effect needed for refeeding and individuals experience suppressed appetite and suppressed energy expenditure. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult for the patient to eat, often interfering with the refeeding process.  Many of the patients who have had this experience, were told, in effect, that they were at fault, or “not trying”. The reason that this happens is that not enough practitioners know about Leptin and the role that it plays in re-feeding. For someone who already has control issues, this is an extremely painful and often damaging experience.

At the Norton Center, our anorexic patients are helped to restore their weight slowly, but steadily. This, along with other important nutritional factors, plays a major role in our high success. It is important to note that many treatment programs use weight gain at the conclusion of treatment as the measure of success.  This is a distortion in as much as the 20 pound weight gain is often gone in a matter or months, and sometimes in a matter of weeks. We measure success as weight gain that is maintained for a at least one year post treatment.  Currently, our success rates  for those patients that remain in treatment is about 90%; in comparison, many inpatient treatment centers experience a much lower success rate, or about 30 to 40%.

How Low Leptin Effects the Physical Complications and Behaviors Typical of Anorexia Nervosa

Low leptin plays a significant role in many of the physical complications and behaviors that are typically associated with anorexia nervosa; amenorrhea, hypothyroidism, hypercortisolism, osteopenia, immune changes, and increased physical activity.

Leptin levels of less than 1.85 µg suggests amenorrhea and subnormal luteinizing hormone (a hormone that stimulates ovulation) in women with anorexia nervosa. As leptin levels normalize through weight restoration, the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis may be activated. Not all patients with anorexia nervosa resume menses upon weight restoration.

The majority of women with anorexia nervosa exhibit osteopenia. Low leptin levels are also associated with a reduction in bone formation rate. Although there are other endocrine changes that contribute to osteopenia, low leptin levels appear to play a significant role.

Individuals with anorexia nervosa, often experience a compromised immune system. This could also be due, in part to low leptin levels although most of the compromised immunity is due to increased cortisol levels.  Cortisol is the hormone that we associate with stress.  Patients who are gaining weight too rapidly, are under considerably more stress, and may also be experiencing increased cortisol levels

Finally, up to 80% of patients with Anorexia Nervosa tend to engage in excessive physical activity. It is believed that there is an inverse correlation between food intake and physical activity during the weight loss phase. In other words, the lower the leptin levels, the more drive there is to exercise excessively, which causes more weight loss or less weight gain. One study demonstrated that patients reported a decreased feeling of restlessness or hyperactivity (need to exercise) as leptin increased during the refeeding/weight restoration phase of treatment.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources: Monteleone P. Di Lieto A. Castaldo E, et al. Leptin functioning in eating disorders. CNS Spectrums. 2004;9:523–529. [PubMed]

Neuroendocrine System Changes: Anorexia vs. Normal Starvation

Whether a person experiences normal starvation or starvation through anorexia, the neuroendocrine system tries to adapt. Below is a comparison of the changes to cholecystokin, leptin, serotonin, dopamine, neuropeptide YY, ghrelin, galanin, and norepinephrine in normal starvation, anorexia, and in post-recovery from anorexia.

Neuroendocrine Changes - Anorexia, Normal Starvation

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Source:

Guisinger, Shan (2009). Is Anorexia Addictive? [powerpoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.shanguisinger.org/2009/08/is-anorexia-addictive-hbes-berlin/

Appetite Hormones 101: Peptide YY

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

In this third and final installment of the series, “Appetite Hormones 101”, we will discuss Peptide YY (PYY). The purpose of this series is to explain the role of hormones on both appetite and body weight goals, as it relates to both weight loss and weight restoration. If you’re a new reader, be sure to check out “Appetite Hormones 101: Leptin” and “Appetite Hormones 101: Ghrelin“.

Peptide YY (PYY)

PYY is a hormone that suppresses appetite. It was discovered to play a role in digestion in 1985. PYY regulates food intake, and is believed to improve leptin sensitivity. The amount of PYY released by our bodies is influenced by the number of calories we ingest; the more calories we ingest, the more PYY is released. The diagram below shows how our PYY levels, ghrelin and leptin levels typically fluctuate before and after meals:

PYY levels are highest in individuals battling anorexia, followed by those individuals that are lean,which explains why both groups have less hunger and also may have more difficulty eating. PYY levels are lowest among obese and morbidly obese individuals. Individuals with bulimia also experience low levels of PYY, which helps to explain why all three groups feel more hunger. Research shows that the obese individual can decrease their PYY levels by 30% by reducing their body weight by 5.4%. PYY levels are not believed to be effected by weight restoration during recovery from anorexia. It is also important to note that high levels of PYY in anorexic individuals is associated with decreased bone mineral density (BMD).

Our mood also effects our PYY levels. Recent studies show that PYY levels are higher in those suffering from major depression. This explains why many people with major depression have a decreased appetite and experience weight loss.

PYY levels can be regulated through both diet and exercise. Diets high in quality protein tend to raise PYY levels highest, followed by diets high in healthy fats. High carbohydrate diets tend to raise PYY levels the least. Aerobic exercise has also been proven to raise PYY levels, whereas strength-training has no effect on PYY levels (although strength-training does lower ghrelin levels).

In conclusion, PYY regulates our appetite. The higher our PYY levels are, the more satiated we will feel. You can ensure your PYY levels are highest by eating a high protein diet and including aerobic exercise in our workout routine.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.
Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com)’.

Sources
J Clin Endocrinal Metab. 2009 Nov; 94(11): 4463-71 Epub 2009 Oct 9
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2006/09/06-02.html
http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/91/3/1027
http://www2.massgeneral.org/harriscenter/about_bn.asp
http://www.eatingdisordersreview.com/nl/nl_edr_18_1_5.html
http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(08)00162-2/abstract
http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/296/1/R29.full
J Endocrinal Invest. 2011 Dec 15 [Epub ahead of print]

Dairy Aisle Confusion

Choosing Healthy Dairy Products

“Making informed nutrition and fitness-related decisions can be somewhat overwhelming for those in therapy for eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, binge eating disorder) and obesity. To this end, I’ve compiled a set of handouts to provide handy reference guides to both my readers and clients. You can view all my Nutrition and Fitness Handouts here. Be sure to check back frequently, as I am always adding new handouts to my list!”

With all the varieties of milk available in grocery stores today, it is very difficult to know which type of milk is the healthiest. In this post, I hope to provide both my patients and readers with some insight to make the decision-making process less stressful.

Today’s milk is much different from the milk our grandparents and great-grandparents drank. Much of the milk in stores today:

  • comes from cows that produce A1 beta-casein
  • comes from grain-fed cows
  • is pasteurized (and in some cases ultra-pasteurized) and homogenized
  • contains synthetic vitamins, antibiotics and growth hormones
  • has dry milk added to improve consistency

We can avoid some of these unhealthy aspects of today’s milk by consuming milk from grass-fed cows when possible. Milk from grass-fed cows has many health benefits, including but not limited to:

  • it contains five times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
  • it contains the perfect ratio of essential fatty acids. This can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, allergies, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and mental health disorders
  • it contains more beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin D than grain-fed milk

So, what kind of milk should you buy? I’ve created a handy, quick-reference guide to use when making your decision.

*Raw milk is only legal for purchase in my area through cow-share programs. To find out the laws in your area, check here

The Cornucopia Institute recently did an in-depth investigation of over 100 organic dairy farms throughout the United States. They ranked each dairy based on organic farming practices and ethics. I’ve summarized some of the findings for some of the organic dairy farms that sell milk in the Cincinnati area (for readers outside of the Cincinnati area, you can find more dairy farm ratings here)

Traders Point (milk and yogurt) was the only dairy farm in my area that was rated ‘Outstanding’ (5 out of 5 cow rating) (Snowville Creamery was not included in the report)

-Dairy farms that were rated ‘Excellent’ (4 out of 5 cow rating) include:

Ben and Jerry’s Organic Ice Cream was the only locally available ice cream that was rated ‘Very Good’ (2 out of 5 cow rating)

-Dairy farms that were rated ‘some or all factory-farm milk or unknown source, but better than conventional’ (1 out of 5 cow rating)*

-Dairy farms that were rated ‘Ethically Deficient’ (0 out of 5 cow rating)* include:

  •  Horizon Organic Milk
  •  Aurora Organic Milk
  •  Back to Nature Cheese

*There were no ‘1 cow rated farms’ or ‘0 cow rated farms’ that agreed to participate in the investigation, so score was based on information that was publicly available

Although milk has changed over time, we can still make healthy decisions by becoming informed consumers. Thanks to institutes like Cornucopia, we can gain much knowledge about where our food is coming from.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com)’.

Sources:
www.foodrenegade.com/healthy-milk-what-to-buy/
www.eatwild.com/articles/superhealthy.html
www.cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/index.html

photo used under creative commons license, flickr user kakie

 

Your Health In The News – Nov 27 – Dec 4

News You Can Use

“As an Eating Disorder Professional, I know that many of my clients that are in treatment for Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, Binge Eating Disorder or Obesity are overwhelmed by all the information in the news about our health. In hopes of relieving some of the stress this can inflict on both my patients and readers, I’ve highlighted some of the weekly health news that was of particular interest to all of us at The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity. From my eating disorder treatment center in Cincinnati, here is your news update for the week of November 27-December 4 2011”

Were there any news articles that you saw this week that really grabbed your attention? Leave a comment with a link. If the article helped you, it will likely help some of my other readers!

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Appetite Hormones 101: Ghrelin

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

This is the second part of the series, “Appetite Hormones 101”.  This series is designed to explain the role of hormones on both appetite and body weight goals, whether it’s weight loss or weight restoration. “Appetite Hormones 101” will be made up of three articles that describe the major appetite hormones: leptin, ghrelin, and peptide YY.

Ghrelin

Ghrelin, discovered in1999 by scientists, is known as “the hunger hormone”. Produced in the stomach and pancreas, Ghrelin stimulates the appetite with the purpose of increasing the intake of food and promoting the storage of fat.  So when Ghrelin levels are high, we feel  hungry.  After we eat, Ghrelin levels fall and we feel satisfied.

Leptin and Ghrelin have a “teeter-totter” relationship. When leptin levels rise, ghrelin levels fall. Likewise, when ghrelin levels rise, leptin levels fall.

Ghrelin levels are highest right before eating meals and lowest right after eating meals.

Leptin, acts on regulatory centres in the brain to inhibit food intake and increase energy expenditure, acting as a long-term regulator of body weight. Whereas Ghrelin is a fast-acting hormone that operates as a meal-initiation signal for short-term regulation of energy balance.

There are distinct abnormalities in the production of Ghrelin among obese and eating disordered individuals. Those with anorexia tend to have high levels of ghrelin which often normalize with weight restoration.  Among those with bulimia, Ghrelin does not respond as strongly when food is eaten, which could contribute to binge eating as the individual suffering from Bulimia does not “get full” even if they have overeaten. Obese individuals tend to have low levels of Ghrelin, probably because they are Leptin Resistant, since Leptin and Ghrelin are inversely related. Research also shows that Ghrelin levels are higher after an individual loses weight, which may make it more difficult to maintain weight loss.

There are several easy things we can do to help manage ghrelin levels:

  • Eat a diet high in good quality protein (organic, grass-fed, free range etc. when possible)
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep
  • Practice meditation and relaxation techniques to reduce everyday stress
  • Drink plenty of water, since ghrelin levels are affected by thirst
  • Avoid processed fructose (especially high fructose corn syrup)

Although these things can make irregular ghrelin levels tolerable, the best way to normalize ghrelin levels is to address the root cause head on. In most cases, irregular ghrelin levels can be corrected by committing to living a healthier lifestyle through exercise, healthy dietary choices, weight restoration (for the anorexic individual), or weight loss (for the obese individual).

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

Medscape News – Sibling hormone to appetite-boosting ghrelin has opposite effects, raising hopes for a new obesity treatment – http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/538867

WiseGEEK – What Is Ghrelin? – http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-ghrelin.htm

Journal of Pediatrics – Ghrelin levels in obesity and anorexia nervosa: effect of weight reduction or recuperation – http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(03)00737-6/abstract

Appetite Hormones 101: Leptin

This series is designed to explain the role of hormones on both appetite and body weight goals, whether it’s weight loss or weight restoration. “Appetite Hormones 101” will be made up of three articles that describe the major appetite hormones: leptin, ghrelin, and peptide YY.

Leptin

Leptin, discovered by scientists in 1994, is also known as the “starvation hormone”. According to leptin expert, Dr Robert Lustig, leptin sends a signal to our brains that fat cells have enough stored energy to engage in normal metabolic processes. Every individual has an optimal level of leptin, which is thought to be determined genetically. When leptin levels are below optimal levels, the brain receives a message to conserve energy because the body is in a state of deprivation. When this occurs, the brain sends a message to the body that it is hungry (in an attempt to get the individual to eat) so that leptin levels can be restored to an optimal level.

Leptin levels are typically high in obese individuals and low in severely underweight/malnourished individuals. When leptin levels are too high, the individual experiences leptin resistance.

When an individual becomes leptin resistant, the body prevents leptin from passing through the blood brain barrier, which also prevents the brain from receiving the signal that leptin levels are at an optimal level. Instead, the brain senses that the body is in a state of starvation, and the individual becomes hungry. Leptin levels go up as a result.

High triglyceride levels also contribute to the prevention of leptin passing through the blood brain barrier. Triglyceride levels are often high in obese individuals as a result of poor dietary choices. In the individual with anorexia, triglyceride levels are often high because of liver damage and anorexia-induced hormone disruption.

If you think that you may be suffering from Leptin Resistance, there are several things that you can do.

  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep disrupts many hormonal processes, including leptin levels.
  • Avoid non-fruit sources of fructose. Studies show that fructose raises triglyceride levels, blocking leptin from crossing the blood brain barrier.
  • Avoid lectins, (carbohydrate-binding proteins that are found in most plants, particularly seeds and tubers such as cereal crops, potatoes, and beans) especially those from cereal grains (rice, wheat, barley, corn and oats) as they tend to bind to leptin receptors, preventing leptin binding. This intensifies the affect of leptin resistance.
  • Cook and supplement with healthy fats, like coconut oil. Coconut oil lowers triglyceride levels, increases metabolism, and promotes healing in the gut (and liver for those recovering from anorexia).
  • Eat a high protein, low carb diet and stay active! Diet and exercise have the greatest effect on overcoming leptin resistance.

Sources:

BMC Endocrine Disorders – “Agrarian diet and diseases of affluence – Do evolutionary novel dietary lectins cause leptin resistance?” (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6823/5/10)

Mark’s Daily Apple – “A Primal Primer: Leptin” (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/LEPTIN/)

The Fat Resistance Diet – “Leptin Resistance” (http://fatresistancediet.com/leptin-weight-loss/66-leptin-resistance)

Live Strong – “High Cholesterol Levels in Anorexia” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/86767-high-cholesterol-levels-anorexia/)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’